Summer 2014, Week 2: Highlights of the Week

When does the week start and when does the week end? I’m flummoxed. This is week two for most shows, but then we’ve got the rebellious Zankyou no Terror and Tokyo ESP that just started up this week. Whatever. I guess two shows can be behind or something. It just IRKS me that I can’t have all my shows at 2/whatever on Hummingbird at the same time. I mean, I could if I waited a week for some shows, but HA! like that’s going to happen. Anyways, let’s talk about some anime.

Free! Eternal Summer

Free!, I may not be in your main target audience, but keep this up and we’ll get along just fine.

Zankyou no Terror, Episode 1: It takes a darn good show to get me to blog it on the first week, and that’s exactly what I did for Zankyou no Terror.

Tokyo ESP, Episode 1: There are two types of premieres. Premieres that make me excited for a show, and premieres that make me go, “Okay, show me your cards next episode.” Tokyo ESP is very much in the latter category, although there were somethings that I liked. On the whole, it felt pretty disjointed (a sensation, the forums tell me, is resultant of the fact that they started in the middle of an arc). For all that, it was a decent start. Psychic powers are my favorite type of superpower, so I’ll be interested (at the least) to see what Tokyo ESP does with them. I don’t have a lot to say about the episode other than I thought the split focus between the personal and the national was interesting and I don’t understand why the “White Haired Girl” has what appeared to be distinctly tan hair. Perhaps this well be explained later on. For now, pretty floating fishes reminiscent of Witchcraft Works. Also, I liked the pseudo-philisophical hook, “You can live your life like nothing’s a miracle. Or you can live your life like everything is.” That’s a nice mentality, and I’m interested to see how (if at all) that plays into the actual show. Tokyo ESP

Glasslip, Episode 2: What. What. What just happened to this show? The whole thing felt supremely disjointed as it covered a gigantic expanse of narrative motion. We got future seeing (arbitrary, of course, but more importantly, it doesn’t gel with the story very well), “no dating in our group,” “dating allowed!” and a love confession. One thing that is very clear is that this group of friends is not healthy for anyone involved. They appear to be both far too ingrained into each other’s lives and simultaneously hilariously unaware of the others. It’s not a good recipe, but if Glasslip actually tries to cover that weird tension, I’d be impressed. I’m sticking with the show for now to see where the heck they are going with this, but if we get to Wizard Barristers episode 12 level of still shots, I’m going to be very disappointed with P.A. Works. I mean, no matter the problems with their stories, they have always showed up with their visuals, and the number of still shots backed by sound effects is…concerning.

Glasslip

Then again, the episode produced this gem of teenage blissful ignorance…so I can’t be too mad at Glasslip yet.

Argevollen, Episode 2: Argevollen is nothing if not competent. There’s still not a whole lot for me to say about the show yet, but the second episode was a good, solid step forward for the show. There are some nice small touches, like the contrast between nature and destruction going on in some of the backgrounds and the silent build up in the tunnels waiting for the enemy. Argevollen is slated for 24 episodes, and I’m quite curious to see where they go with it.

Fairy Tail, Episode 15: This is going to come back to bite me next week, but I’m ready to declare good Fairy Tail as returned from the dead. Yet another episode with actual gravity. Watching yourself die must be a kind of awful experience. And yet, we have future Rouge, who doesn’t seem to be totally evil, which is nice. Villains with actual reasons are much more compelling than the “mwahahaha evil” types (although those are fun). Anywho, Natsu is pissed and please A-1 Pictures, keep putting effort into this show.

Fairy Tail

I think the new art style is pretty great, guys.

Rail Wars!, Episode 2: I don’t know about anyone else, but I think Rail Wars! is a pretty fun show. I’m still digging the gender-balanced main quartet and the character archetypes are comfortable—and it even looks like we might actually get more characterization than just each of them playing out their standard role. Terrorist attacks seem to be a theme early in the season, and Rail Wars!‘s installation was pretty solid. I like that each one of our four leads is competent in their own way and it was Sakurai’s moment in the spotlight this week. We got her getting chided for light insubordination, getting comforted by way of sweet foods by their captain (HOCCHAN! <3), and also displaying a bit of trust towards Takayama. It remains to be seen whether or not she’ll actually develop as a character or if she’ll just follow the tracks (sorry) of her archetype, but either way…she looks good with her red hair.

Side note: I wish the outfights were not so casually fanservicey. It kind of bothers me—I guess I should be grateful it’s not overly intrusive in most places…

Rail Wars!

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Episode 2: The first half of this episode—the Mikoshiba half—almost killed me. It was truly hilarious watching Nozaki-kun deconstruct the self-absorbed playboy archetype, and the fact that Mikoshiba is the model for the heroine in Nozaki’s manga is just…amazing. Right now, Nozaki-kun strikes me as a show very near the pinnacle of character-based comedy: it gives you these characters with their primary traits and then just spins them around and around for laughs. Yuzuki’s half of the episode wasn’t quite as funny as Mikoshiba’s, but giving her an amazing singing voice to contrast her behavior was a great touch. Again, the animation for this show was off-the-charts good, with the style change as Yuzuki abandons Nozaki standing out as my favorite part. I’m having a gigantic amount of fun with this show; definitely my pet show of the season. (Also, shoutout to Ari Ozama, Sakura’s VA, who is knocking it out of the park so far.)

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

 

2 thoughts on “Summer 2014, Week 2: Highlights of the Week

  1. I’m another person who really likes Rail Wars! Perhaps it’s not spectacular, but the characterization is very well done. Some people accuse it of being boring, but it doesn’t feel that way to me.

    Tokyo ESP has a lot to measure up to. It’s in the same universe as Ga-Rei Zero, which stands as one of the most brilliant season long shows ever made. The first episode lacked focus, had a lot of hat tipping toward the fans of Ga-Rei Zero, and that weird look-alike to Ryougi Shiki, but I’m willing to see whether it gets better.

    Nozaki-kun and Sabagebu both seem to be top notch comedies this season with strong second episodes. Have you gotten a chance to watch the latter? Mikoshiba being the heroine of the manga Nozaki’s manga was one of the supremely funny moments of the episode, but I laguhed at practically everything Yuzuki did. I hope that this show can keep the comedy rolling!

    Like

    • Yeah, I don’t understand the criticism that Rail Wars! is boring. To me, it’s no less unbalanced than any other show this season, so I’m forced to conclude that maybe it’s just not a show that hits the right vibe for people.

      I haven’t seen Ga-Rei-Zero, so all the references to it went straight over my head.

      I haven’t started on Sabagebu yet, but it’s on my short list of shows (along with Barakamon) that I’ll probably pick up later in the season when my schedule frees up.

      Like

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